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Possible Ordnance Taken By Bomb Squad Found To Be Battery

Posted: Updated:
WILMINGTON, Del. -

Police say the bomb squad was called out to a Wilmington neighborhood on Thursday for possible explosive ordnance unearthed by a public works crew.

After more than three-and-a-half hours at the scene, a police Explosive Ordnance Disposal team secured the device, described at the time as a possible military-grade smoke grenade. It was taken from the area for secure detonation.

But police said later Thursday afternoon that they have since determined that the item was actually a battery.

The device was discovered at 10:17 a.m. on the 500 block of Barrett Street. Public works employees immediately evacuated and called police, and the entire residential block was shut down. Homes were evacuated, two schools were on lock down and the word explosive was used. Imagine the tension this event caused for every parent in the district today.

"I was frantic and I'm still shaking," said Shanna Pinkston, a mom. "I just started getting phone calls and texts that something happened on the block where there was some type of explosive device or something. Then I started getting calls from my kids at my school."

SkyFOX flew over the scene and showed a bomb squad setting up around the corner from the trench where the pipes were being replaced.

The scene was not far from two schools. Police said P.S. DuPont Middle School, located at 701 W. 34th Street, was safe and was not evacuated, nor was Harlan Elementary School, located at 3601 N. Jefferson Street, which was placed on lock down as a precautionary measure.

"I thought someone came in the school who wasn't supposed to," recalled Kenyan, a 4th grade.

"To hear what happened in DC and now it's really hitting home," says Shanna Pinkson.

It was just before 2 p.m. when police lifted the evacuation order and said the device had been removed.

Mary Palmer lives in the house right in front of the suspected explosive device; she has kids in both schools that were locked down.

"I think we're going out to dinner and have a family fun night," says Palmer.

Authorities say they'll investigate how and why the device was buried underneath the street. Police will also be there as public works completes the job in case there are any more potential explosives under the road.

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